In fact the opposite is true: in states with strong unions, the teaching is strongest. States with no unions, such as in the South, have weak education. All the European countries you like to say we are losing against--well, their teachers have UNIONS. Contrary to the propaganda, the main function of a union is to protect GOOD teachers; you certainly CAN get fired if you're incompetent or negligent; and one of the main risks of no protection is exactly what happens in charter schools: In the vast majority of many privately owned charters, older good experienced teachers are nonexistent. Instead, they are filled with a rapidly revolving cadre of young frightened CHEAP workers. This is what Corporations want, folks.
For those who will argue something along the lines of: "In my private job, I can get fired at will and whim, so suck it up teachers,": I say: Just because conditions are horrible in private industries, does not mean they should be horrible in public schools. What does this mean? I suffer, so so should you. Unions were destroyed for me, so they should be for you, too. Envy and bitterness is not the way to make a decision; it is merely a way for corporations to play with your feelings, to manipulate you to agree with their anti-unions attacks.
Corporations smell money like vampires or sharks; their latest course of blood money are schools; what you and I see are children in need of an education; what they see is public money heretofore untapped. The alliance between corporatism and the military has been extremely profitable for a handful of gazillionaires. Next are schools. They just keep repeating the Big Lie, that unions are the cause of our schools' decay. IT IS A LIE. THERE IS ZERO PROOF. Anecdotes are just that: Anecdotes. For every anecdote you give about one dud teacher 'protected' by the union, I can give you 1000 of fabulous teachers protected by the union, or 100,000 who are simply great teachers while working in a union. THe complete and utter lack of evidence in their repeated attack on unions is proof that their goal is not to improve schools but to get rid of highly experienced -more expensive, potentially 'troublesome,' to corporations - teachers.
You then quote extensively from American Enterprise Institute. This organization is a highly conservative, highly influential, pro-business organization. It is funded by several private corporations such as Exxon and Phillip Morris. Its website states: "national and multinational corporations who support AEI maintain close relationships with the Institute's scholars and regularly receive top-level research and analysis on specific policy interests and priorities. In addition, corporations provide important input to AEI on a wide variety of issues. Corporate involvement with AEI includes special invitations to public and private events; AEI's full slate of research studies, articles, books and other publications; access to our scholars, fellows, and senior management; and more."
Readers: Ask yourselves why big business would suddenly care about education. Why are hedge fund managers suddenly so involved? THey send their own kids to elite private schools and have for years. They have no direct personal experience with public schools, nothing at stake, and zero expertise. Zero. Yet this article quotes extensively from a Pro-Corporate organization in a 'debate' about public schools that bashes unions. Think. Question. It is massive propaganda, that's right. And the goal is to make our schools as profitable for a handful of corporations as the military is now. Is that the future you want? The school-industrial complex? Filled with young frightened easily intimidated poorly paid 'workers,' um, teachers?